2016-08-04 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, July 28:

Wind farm. Author: Samir Luther. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Wind farm. Author: Samir Luther. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

  • The Democrats adopted their party platform at their national convention. The energy and environment section is titled “Combat Climate Change, Build a Clean Energy Economy, and Secure Environmental Justice.” It begins with this statement: “Climate change is an urgent threat and the defining challenge of our time.” [Global Warming]
  • Amid a blistering heat wave and some strong weather, electricity prices in New York soared this week. According to Platts, New York ISO real-time prices went above $800/MWh (80¢/kWh) on Monday afternoon, and Zone A West real-time prices soared in to more than $1,500/MWh ($1.50/kWh). [Utility Dive]
  • China has installed 22 GW of grid-connected solar PV in the first half of 2016. According to PV-Tech, China’s National Energy Administration announced at an industry event in Beijing that the country had logged 22 GW of grid-connected solar PV in the first half of the year, with 11.3 GW in June alone. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, July 29:

The Nine Mile Point plant in Oswego County. Constellation Energy photo.

The Nine Mile Point plant in Oswego County. Constellation Energy photo.

  • “NY’s historic bailout of nuke plants explained: Why ratepayers could pony up $7 billion” • New York energy regulators are poised to approve the nation’s first clean-air subsidies for nuclear plants, a controversial move that would guarantee about $7 billion in new revenue to three Upstate nukes threatening to close. [Syracuse.com]
  • Plans to build the first new UK nuclear plant in 20 years were unexpectedly delayed when the UK’s government put a final decision off until the early autumn. EDF, which is financing most of the £18-billion Hinkley Point project, approved the funding. But the UK’s government said it needed to review the project. [BBC]
  • The world’s 47 largest investor-owned fossil fuel and cement producers have been formally accused of human rights abuses. This week, the fossil fuel and cement producers named in the complaint were sent their copies of it by the Philippines Commission on Human Rights. They have 45 days to respond. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, drawing from cash paid to the state by Yankee owner Entergy, has given $400,000 to the Windham Regional Commission to develop the program over the next several months. Officials say grants will be geared toward small-scale renewable projects in the county. [vtdigger.org]
  • The Vermont Public Service Board issued interim noise standards for commercial and small-scale wind projects, in accord with legislation that directed the Public Service Board to issue interim rules. For commercial wind projects the board set a limit of 45 decibels outside of a building and 30 decibels on the inside. [Vermont Public Radio]

Saturday, July 30:

Wind farm in the UK.

Wind farm in the UK.

  • In 2015 renewable energy provided 25% of the UK’s electricity, up from 20% the previous year. Once considered the lifeblood of this country, coal is now marginally behind gas as the dominant source of electric energy in the UK, with renewable energy sources filling the gap it leaves behind. [Kensington Chelsea & Westminster Today]
  • Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne on Friday put out a new wind-turbine siting policy statement. “If a town says no to a large industrial wind project I would use all the power of the governor’s office to ensure that is the end of the project,” Dunne said in his statement. “I will ensure that no means no.” [Seven Days]

Sunday, July 31:

Neural Connections of the Brain via Flickr CC.

Neural Connections of the Brain via Flickr CC.

  • The American Psychological Association links air pollution to brain disorders and diminished cognitive abilities in a report that links air pollution to increased depression, educational troubles for children, and degenerative problems. “Now, the evidence is mounting that dirty air is bad for your brain as well,” it says. [CleanTechnica]

Monday, August 1:

Pollution in the Henan Province, China. Credit: V.T. Polywoda / flickr.

Pollution in the Henan Province, China. Credit: V.T. Polywoda / flickr.

  • The global battle against climate change passed a historic turning point, according to senior economists. China, the world’s biggest polluter, more than tripled its coal use from 2000 to 2013, emitting billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. But its coal consumption peaked in 2014, much earlier than expected, and began falling. [Climate Central]

2014 fuel shares in world total primary energy supply. Source: IEA.

  • Global renewable energy production increased by 2.6% between 2013 and 2014, and reached a share of 13.8% in total primary energy supply, the International Energy Agency said last week. Annual growth rates in 1990 to 2014 have been especially strong for PV and wind power, at 46.2% and 24.3% respectively. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • The Massachusetts legislature has passed a compromise energy bill and sent it to the governor. The bill would require utilities to solicit long-term contracts with offshore wind farm developers for at least 1,600 MW in the next 10 years and encourage delivery of larger supplies of Canadian hydropower and other renewables. [Odessa American]

Tuesday, August 2:

NOAA image.

NOAA image.

  • Opinion: “What World Climate Can Expect From US Presidential Choices” • “This year, every vote is a vote for or against climate change,” says Nick Stockton on Wired.com. Citizens of the United States have to make a real choice about climate this year. Our votes may determine how the country addresses the world climate for decades. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Clean Energy Standard, part of an initiative to double the New York’s renewable energy providers and cut carbon emissions 40% by 2030, was approved unanimously at a meeting in Albany Monday. The four nuclear power plants were added to the CES because they produce a third of the state’s carbon dioxide-free energy. [WSKG News]
  • Vermont gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne’s renewable energy position proposing to leave wind and solar siting questions up to the local community lost him a powerful endorsement. Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org is no longer endorsing him, and has given his endorsement to Sue Minter instead. [WCAX]

Wednesday, August 3:

  • The Ukrainian Government is exploring options to construct a 4-GW solar power plant in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Once completed, the plant would be the largest solar project in the world. Aside from guards and workers who manage roadblocks and barriers, the zone has been barren and uninhabited for 30 years. [Power Technology]
First tower section is lifted onto its foundation. Image sent by Twitter.

First tower section is lifted onto its foundation. Image sent by Twitter.

  • Turbine installation has started at the 30-MW Block Island project off the coast of Rhode Island, the US’ first offshore wind farm. The developer, Deepwater Wind, said on Twitter that the first tower section has been put atop one of the foundations. The components for the rest of the turbines are all on hand. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for Governor of Vermont, unveiled a plan to tackle climate change and secure the state’s clean energy future. “Climate change is the most significant threat to our planet and even in the short-term will fundamentally harm our economy. … Collectively, we can solve this problem.” [Vermont Biz]
  • At a press conference at the Vermont Statehouse, Sue Minter was surrounded by environmental advocates to receive the endorsement of the Vermont Conservation Voters in her race for Governor. Minter reiterated her commitment to Vermont’s bold goal to reach 90% renewable energy by 2050 and deal with climate change. [Vermont Biz]



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